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1 CHRONICLES | Hebrews | 2 CHRONICLES| James | EZRA

DateScriptures Compare with: Daily devotional commentary
June 1-4: Hebrews
June 5:2 Chronicles 1-4 1 Kings * Solomon Builds the Temple, by N Sween
June 6:2 Chronicles 5-71 Kings * The Shekinah Glory and The Cherubim, D Sween
June 7:2 Chronicles 8-111 Kings * Solomon, Rehoboam, and Jeroboam, N Sween
June 8:2 Chronicles 12-161 Kings * King Asa Made A Treaty, N Sween
June 9:2 Chronicles 17-20:231 Kings * Ahab Outsmarts the Lord's Prophet - Not, D Sween
June 10:2 Chronicles 20:24-23:212 Kings * War and Peace, Murder and Deceit, N Sween
June 11:2 Chronicles 24-262 Kings * The Value of a Godly Leader, D Sween
June 12:2 Chronicles 27-292 Kings * Battles, Blessings, and Punishment, N Sween
June 13:2 Chronicles 30-322 Kings * Hezekiah On Revival and Testing, D Sween
June 14:2 Chronicles 33-342 Kings * Revival Is Not Inherited, N Sween
June 15:2 Chronicles 35-362 Kings * The End Of Judah, N Sween
June 16: James

Solomon Builds the Temple
June 5 reading
2 Chronicles 1-4
Study Guides and
Commentary Archive
* Solomon's Temple, Wikipedia
* Jerusalem in 1st Temple Period
PERSPECTIVE: "The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?" (2:5-6)
We read about Solomon a few weeks ago in 1 Kings. 2 Chronicles focuses less on examples of Solomon's wisdom and more on the details of having the Temple built on Mount Moriah on land that David, his father, had purchased from Araunah the Jebusite where the angel had stopped the plague, and David had worshipped. Solomon contacted Hiram, King of Tyre, about the plans to build the Lord God of Israel a temple - a place not to contain Him, but to offer sacrifices to Him. For the project supervisor, Solomon contracted with Hiram to send Huram-Abi, a skilled craftsman whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. Hiram accepted the price Solomon offered for Tyre woodsmen to cut and deliver valuable logs from the forests of Lebanon.

In Israel, Solomon took a census of the 153,600 aliens living there, and assigned some to be carriers, some to be stonecutters, and some to be foremen, overseeing that the work got done.

The temple plans called for the building to be about 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. Obviously the writer of the book of Hebrews had closely studied the description in Chapter 3, of how the temple was built, and compared it (Hebrews 3:3-6 and 9:1-10) with the temple of Christ's New Covenant. Hebrews also revealed that the plans for Solomon's Temple and the articles made to be used in it were all based upon the Temple and the cheubim in heaven.

The Shekinah Glory and The Cherubim
June 6 reading
2 Chronicles 5-7
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Commentary Archive
* Temple Mount Timeline
* The Temple
"The priests then brought the ark of the LORD's covenant to its place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the Most Holy Place, and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. The cherubin spread their wings over the place of the ark and covered the ark and its carrying poles." (5:7-8) "Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God. (5:13b-14)
Chapters 5-7 describe the dedication of the temple. First, the ark was installed (5:2-14), Solomon then dedicated the temple (6:1-11). Solomon's prayer (6:12-7:5) followed by sacrifices and feasts (7:4-11) were concluded by God's promise and warning (7:12-22).

The Israelite priests brought the ark up to its place in the Most Holy Place and put it beneath the wings of the cherubim. Then the temple of the Lord was filled with a cloud .... for the glory of the Lord filled the Temple of God. (5:13-14).

The "glory of the Lord" refers to the visible presence or manifestation of God among His people. This is what is known as the "Shekinah Glory." Shekinah is a Hebrew word meaning "dwelling of God."

Solomon's prayer of dedication is wonderful - beginning and ending with the unqualified praise of God as a loving, personal God. Verse 14: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or Earth - you who keep your covenant of LOVE with your servants" .... ending with verse 42 .... remember the great LOVE promised to David your servant.

Sacrifices are then made in great abundance. In a nightime appearance, God appears to Solomon telling him that he has heard his prayer and has chosen the temple as a place where sacrifices to Himself can be made (7:12). God then states what the consequences will be for obedience - and disobedience.

Solomon, Rehoboam, and Jeroboam
June 7 reading
2 Chronicles 8-11
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* Compare with 1 Kings 12
Solomon wrote Proverbs & Ecclesiastes
"This is what the Lord says: 'Do not go up to fight against your brothers. Go home, every one of you, for this is my doing.'" (11:4) "The Levites even abandoned their pasturelands and property, and came to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had rejected them as priests of the LORD." (11:14)
During the rest of his 40 year reign, Solomon built up towns in Israel, captured more, and received some from his friend Hiram, King of Tyre. Some Israelites were forced to settle into the later. At first, Solomon only used aliens living in his kingdom as slave labor. Israelites were drafted into Solomon's army. 2 Chronicles adds to 1 Kings that Solomon didn't want his unnamed but apparently favorite wife - Pharaoh's daughter - to stay in the palace of David. The ark of the LORD had been there, and made it holy. 1 Kings indicates that Pharaoh's daughter was neither holy nor a believer of the God of her husband's people. Solomon still promoted regular sacrifices, celebrated 3 annual feasts (Unleaven Bread, Weeks, and Tabernacles), and saw that the priests' duties were scheduled. He continued to obey his father, and others obeyed him. His friendship and business partnership with Tyre grew into an import-export venture, with ships sailing from the Gulf of Aqaba off the Red Sea. Solomon's fame spread, and rulers like the Queen of Sheba came to see. She concluded that all Solomon's wisdom must lead to exceptional justice and righteousness. The LORD kept His promise to make Solomon wealthy beyond his greatest dreams. In taxes, revenues, tributes, and gifts, the people and other kings paid Solomon so much in gold that silver was ignored. As the import-export business thrived, construction of storage areas increased.

When Solomon died, Rehoboam didn't have his father's wisdom. And Israel was not so just and righteous as visiting dignataries had thought. The people of Israel didn't remember Solomon's wisdom so much as his harsh labor requirements and heavy financial yoke on them, his own people. Rehoboam thought he could continue his father's ways by rejecting the advice of the elders to be kind to Israel. Instead he went with advice from his own generation to be even tougher. (see 13:5-7) So Israel rejected Rehoboam as their king, and chose Jeroboam. Rehoboam had the loyalty of the houses of Judah and Benjamin, and mustered them to fight Israel into submission. The king apparently didn't inquire, but the LORD told Judah through a man of God not to fight their brothers. "This is My doing," the LORD revealed. So what looked like disaster, as Israel split from Judah, was God's will. The disaster itself - Israel turning from God toward other gods - had gone largely unnoticed by king and people alike. Had they relied upon others to police their spiritual security? Had they stopped governing their own spiritual obedience?

Rehoboam had administrative skills. He built up Judah for defense. After Jeroboam threw the priests out of Israel, Rehoboam welcomed them to Jerusalem along with Israelites of any tribe determined to seek the LORD. Like Solomon, Rehoboam married many wives and had many children. Unlike Solomon, his 2 favorite wives were relatives, descended from King David's father Jesse.

King Asa Made A Treaty
June 8 reading
2 Chronicles 12-16
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* Compare with 1 Kings 14-17
* Jeroboam, Prince of Egypt * Zerah, the Kushite
"Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, 'LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.'" (14:11)
Even though the golden calves policy of Jereboam of Israel had made many Levite priests move into Judah near Jerusalem, Rehoboam and many Judeans abandoned the law of the LORD. So within 5 years, Rehoboam's fortified cities fell to attacks by Shishak of Egypt with an army of Libyans, Sukkites, and Cushites. When they reached Jerusalem, the LORD spoke to Rehoboam through the prophet Shemaiah. "You have abandoned Me, therefore I now abandon you to Shishak". The king and leaders of Israel (i.e., Judah) all humbled themselves at this message, and the LORD relented a bit. "Since they have humbled themselves I will not destroy them... (but they will have to serve Shishak) so that they may learn the difference between serving Me and serving the kings of other lands." (12:7-8) Shishak's success was Jerusalem's loss. Shishak looted the gold treasures of the temple and of the royal palace, and carried them to Egypt. Rehoboam replaced the gold shields with brass.

Although Rehoboam's father Solomon had married the daughter of a pharoah of Egypt, she was not his mother, so he was not related to Shishak. The king's mother was an Ammonite. No doubt following some of her ways, the king's evil was that he did not set his heart upon seeking the LORD, but was more intent upon fighting with Jeroboam, ruler of Israel. After reigning 17 years, in Jeroboam's 18th year 58 year old Rehoboam died, and his son Abijah ruled Judah for 3 years.

Abijah believed the contract the LORD had made. While going to war with Jeroboam, he shouted from a hill to remind Israel that their king was to be a descendant of David. Jeroboam wasn't. Abijah shouted that any Israelite with a bull and 7 rams could become a priest - like some Doctor of Divinity degrees offered on the internet today. "Men of Israel, do not fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers, for you will not succeed." Jeroboam didn't give up, but when he sprung his ambush, the men of Judah cried out to the LORD. It wasn't because of Abijah's oratory or his army that the LORD routed Jeroboam and his huge army that day.

When Abijah's son Asa replace him as king, Judah had 10 years of peace. Asa continued doing good and right in his LORD's eyes, then commanded his people to seek the LORD and obey his laws and commands. He fortified the towns of Judah. When the Cushites attacked several years later, he didn't rely on his preparation, but cried out to the LORD his God for help. And the LORD defeated the large Cushite army.

Azariah son of Oded brought the LORD's word to Asa for him to know the LORD better.

  • The Lord is with you when you are with him
  • If you seek Him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you
  • Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded
    So Asa had idols throughout the land removed, and he had the altar of the LORD repaired. Many people, even from Israel, joined with Asa in a covenant to seek the LORD with all their heart and soul. They were fully committed to the LORD, and He gave them peace for many years.

    But when Asa had been king 35 years and the king of Israel came against him, he contacted the king of Aram with wealth to make a defense treaty for protection. Did he think the covenant contract meant continued protection? Maybe so. Asa was upset when Hanani the seer told Asa the LORD was not pleased that Asa would trust a foreign king over the LORD himself for defending Judah. "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." Rather than getting wiser with age, Asa had made a bad mistake in judgement which he compounded, by throwing the seer into prison. Even after the LORD inflicted Asa with a severe foot disease, still Asa would not seek help from the LORD - only from physicians. He reigned a little over 40 years before he died.

  • Ahab Outsmarts The Lord's Prophet - NOT
    June 9 reading
    2 Chronicles 17-20:23
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    Commentary Archive
    * Compare with 1 Kings 21-22
    "If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us ... We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." (20:9,12b)
    After succeeding his father, Asa, Jehoshaphat strengthened himself against Israel. The Bible says "... He sought the God of his father and followed his commands rather than the practices of Israel." (17:4)

    Jehoshaphat sent teachers with the Book of the Law throughout Judah. Then he made the mistake of allying himself with Ahab. Ahab both sought after and was plagued by false prophets and false spirits. But Jehoshaphat wanted a real prophet of God. Ahab didn't, saying "But I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me." (18:1) Micaiah prophesied disaster for Israel. In a strange parody of a self-fulfilling prophecy, Ahab says, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?" In the coming battle, Ahab in disguise is killed and Jehoshaphat returns to his palace in Jerusalem.

    He then begins to turn the people back to God. He appoints judges in the land and in the fortified cities. In Jerusalem, he appoints Levites and family heads to administer the Law of the Lord. (19:8)

    The Moabitses, Ammonites, and Meunites send a vast army against Judah. Alarmed, Jehoshaphat responds in an exemplary manner. He begins to fast (20:3), gathers together others to pray and fast (vs 4), confesses his helplessness (vs 12), obeys the Holy Spirit (vss 14-18), trusts in God (vs 20), and thanks God (vss 21-22).

    War and Peace, Murder and Deceit
    June 10 reading
    2 Chronicles 20:24-23:21
    Study Guides and
    Commentary Archive
    * Jehoshaphat
    * Compare with 2 Kings 11-14

    "The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel." (20:29)
    Didn't it look like there was no way Jehoshaphat's army could stand up to the vast combined Ammonite and Moabite invasion army? But even if crying out to the LORD with extensive prayer and advance praise for the help they needed from him didn't seem like proper preparation for battle, it was. During all their loud singing and praising, the army of Judah had no idea that the invaders out in the Desert of Jeruel were turning against each other. By the time Judah went out to face the invaders, there were only the dead bodies of the enemy. It took Judah three days to load up and carry off all the plunder from the valley they called Beracah (i.e., Praise). When they returned to Jerusalem, they kept on praising the LORD for his unusual method of giving them victory over the enemy. As the story spread among Judah's neighbors, they kept the peace. The LORD God of Judah was too strong for them. But despite this reputation of the LORD of Judah, the people themselves didn't set their hearts on the God of their fathers. Instead, they continued to visit the high places, to worship and inquire of other gods. And eventually Jehoshaphat made a bad alliance with the wicked Ahaziah, king of Israel. Even though Solomon and the king of Tyre's shipping alliance had been profitable, Jehoshaphat and Ahaziah's shipping venture was a failure.

    Jehoshaphat died, thinking he had set up his 6 sons who would not be king in their own fortified cities. But when the eldest son Jehoram became king at age 32, he slaughtered his 6 brothers with some of the princes. During his 8 year reign, Edom and Libnah fought against Judah. Eventually, Elijah the prophet wrote Jehoram a letter stating all his ungodly actions, and warning him what the LORD was planning against him. Jehoram's family would be attacked and carried off, and he himself would suffer a lingering disease of the bowels. Only his youngest son Ahaziah survived the attack of the Philistines and Arabs when they invaded Judah. No one regreted Jehoram's death, 8 years into his reign. He was not buried with the other kings.

    The only surviving son of Jehoram's was Ahaziah, who began his reign at age 22. His mother encouraged his ungodly ways and his friendship and military alliance with Ahab's son, Joram, of Israel. Jehu's mission was to destroy the house of Ahab, and when he learned that Ahaziah was visiting Ahab's son, Jehu killed him and some relatives as well. Back in Jerusalem, his mother Athaliah began to kill the whole royal family of Judah in order to eliminate David's descendants and to reign in their place. But one of Jehoram's daughters hid Ahaziah's baby son in the temple for 6 years. When the priest Jehoiada made a covenant with the family heads, the Levites, and many of the people, he arranged for Joash to become king. After the boy king's evil grandmother Athaliah was killed as she attempted escape, Jehoiada the priest established the Levites to follow the Law of Moses in the temple, complete with rejoicing and singing as David had ordered and proper security. Then he took Joash to the palace as king. Cleansed of Athaliah, Jerusalem was quiet again.

    The Value of a Godly Leader
    Kings Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah

    June 11 reading
    2 Chronicles 24-26
    Study Guides and
    Commentary Archive
    * Ray Stedman
    * Compare with 2 Kings 11-14
    "(Uzziah) sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success." (26:5)
    Thank you, Lord, for former president Ronald Reagan, on the day of his funeral in Washington DC
    Joash became king and did what was right in the eyes of the LORD as long as Jehoiada was the priest. Joash was concerned about the restoration of the temple and ordered periodic collections to take place. From these funds diligent workers were hired who rebuilt and reinforced the temple according to its original design. (24:13)

    After the death of the priest Jehoiada, the officials of Judah came with flattering words and tempted Joash into the sin of idol worship. God's anger came upon them and he sent prophets to the people to bring them back to him. They even rejected Jehoiada's son Zechariah, and stoned him to death as Luke 11:51 says - "between the altar and the sanctuary."

    This giant sin results in an invasion by the small army of Aram, who killed all the leaders of the people and wounded Joash. His official then killed him.

    Joash's son Amaziah begins well but from the start "does what is right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly." After slaughtering the Edomites he returns with the god's of the people of Seir - and bows down to them (vs 25:14). God then hands both Amaziah and Judah over to Israel.

    Uzziah, son of Amaziah, becomes king. Like his predecessors he began well. The reasons for his eventual downfall are clearly stated in vs 26:16: "But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God..."

    Battles, Blessings, and Punishment
    June 12 reading
    2 Chronicles 27-29
    Study Guides and
    Commentary Archive
    * Matthew Henry
    * Compare with 2 Kings 15-17
    "In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the LORD.... he thought, 'Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.' But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel." (28:22, 23b)
    Trials and battles, both spiritual and physical, continued and increased in Israel and Judah. The LORD was at the center of them, honoring faithful kings of Judah and punishing those who were unfaithful. Jotham did what was right before the LORD while the people continued their corrupt practices. He conquered the Ammonites and made them pay tribute. So the LORD increased Jotham's power until he died about age 41.

    His son Ahaz became king and was unfaithful to the LORD. The advances Jotham had made, Ahaz overturned as he made cast idols, burned sacrifices, and even sacrificed his sons in the fire. So his reign was characterized with attacks by the Arameans from Damascus and by Israel. Were it not for Oded the prophet bravely speaking out in Israel, the 200,000 prisoners captured from Judah would have become slaves. "But aren't you also guilty of sins against the LORD your God?" Oded asked. "Send back your fellow countrymen you have taken as prisoners, for the LORD's fierce anger rests on you." Some leaders of Ephraim agreed with Oded, and the prisoners were returned to Jericho. King Ahaz asked Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria for help, but even sending him money didn't get any help. Ahaz didn't understand the LORD's power to punish unfaithfulness, and decided instead that the gods of Aram (Damascus) were more powerful than the LORD. So Ahaz moved all the furnishings out of the temple, shut it up, and opened street-side altars instead. When he eventually died, apparently aged 36, he was not buried with the kings of Judah/Israel.

    Hezekiah was 25 when he followed his father as king. His mother was Abijah, daughter of the priest Zechariah, and he did right in the eyes of the LORD. He reopened the temple and made repairs. He brought the priests and the Levites back to the temple, and called them to consecrated themselves and the temple. They were to remove all defilement from the sanctuary. Hezekiah believed he could still make a covenant with the LORD and return to Him. After the priests consecrated everything in the temple, Hezekiah called the city officials and brought bulls and goats for the priests to offer the LORD in sacrifice. The Levites were instructed to bring their musical instruments and sing to the LORD as He had commanded through the prophets in David's time. The music played and singing continued while the people bowed in worship during the sacrifices and offerings. They continued worshiping, singing praises with gladness, bowing their heads in worship. Then the people brought more animals for burnt offerings than there were priests able to skin them. The Levites had been more conscientious in consecrating themselves than the priests had been. The people rejoiced because the service of the temple of the LORD had been reestablished so quickly.

    Hezekiah On Revivial and Testing
    June 13 reading
    2 Chronicles 30-32
    Study Guides and
    Commentary Archive
    * Spurgeon * Legge
    * Compare with 2 Kings 18-19 and 2 Kings 20-23
    "'May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God - the LORD, the God of his fathers - even if he is not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.' And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people." (30:18b-19)
    In Chapter 30 a revival takes place. Increased concern for the Law of God and His temple is in evidence. The verb return occurs 4 times in 30:6-9. This implies that God's people were far from Him. They had been more attached to the ways of the world as opposed to sincerely following after God. Truly, as the scriptures say, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."

    Chapter 31:1 shows the results of their changed hearts.

    "When all this had ended, the Israelites who were there went out to the towns of Judah, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah Poles. They destroyed the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin and in Ephraim and Manassah." Praise the LORD.
    Next, there occurs a huge outpouring of offerings. There was so much it had to be piled on the ground in heaps. If you have ever asked the question - "How can I truly prosper?" - the answer is found in 31:21 - "--- he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered."

    After all that (32:1) Sennacherib threatens Jerusalem. A commentator says this -

    "The Chronicler notes that it was after Hezekiah's acts of faithfulness that Sennacherib invaded Jerusalem. Trouble and testing sometimes came to a believer who had been completely faithful to God. However, the assurance of faith is this: the one who is with us is so great that He can overcome all that the enemy throws against us."
    As 1 John 4:4 says "Greater is He who is in me, than he that is in the world."

    Revival Is Not Inherited
    June 14 reading
    2 Chronicles 33-34
    Study Guides and
    Commentary Archive
    * Josiah * Spurgeon's A Miracle of Grace
    * Compare with 2 Kings 20-23
    "In his distress, (Manasseh) sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. And when he prayed to him, the LORD was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem (from Babylon) and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD is God." (33:12-13)
    Manasseh was 12 when he became king of Judah, and he picked up the battle against the LORD. Manasseh ignored his father's ways and did the detestable things the LORD hates. Like what? He rebuilt altars to local gods in and out of the temple of the LORD. He worshiped the stars with astrology, sacrificed his sons in the fire, practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft by consulting mediums and spiritists. He challenged the LORD's promise not to make the Israelites leave the land again "if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them..." (33:8) As the serpant in the garden of Eden, Manasseh said in effect "Did God really say you must not do this? Nothing bad will come of it. In fact you will be even more powerful!" During the 55 year reign, the LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people. They wouldn't listen. The LORD's next move: distress. He let the Assyrian army capture the king, put a hook in his nose, and take him to Babylon. Not only was Manasseh distressed but he humbled himself, ignored the idols, and asked the LORD for help. When the LORD brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem to continue his reign, Manasseh realized for sure that the LORD is God. In response, the king rebuilt the outer wall and destroyed the images and idols in the temple and throughout Jerusalem. Manasseh was convinced, but many of his people had their doubts.

    Manasseh's son, Amon, was 22 when he became king. Amon was not convinced the LORD was God, and stuck with his idols. His officials assassinated him. The people killed the plotters, then made Amon's 8 year old son, Josiah, king of Judah.

    At first someone else must have overseen the work of the throne, but when he was 16 Josiah began to seek the God of King David. When he was 20 he began to purge Jerusalem and all of Judah of high places, Asherah poles, idols, images, and altars. He killed those who worshiped and served Baal, and mingled broken pieces of their ungodly altars with charred pieces of their burned bones. [How can people today who value diversity in any kind of religious freedom understand this focus on one Lord? How much has purifying become a dirty word?]

    Josiah was 26 when he oversaw the repair of the temple as part of his plan to purify the land and the temple. During this repair, the high priest Hilkiah found the actual Book of the Law of Moses and gave it to the king's secretary, Shaphan, who read parts of it - including the curses for disobedience - to the king. God's word cut Josiah to the quick, and he tore his robes in grief. These weren't the laws that had been written on his heart, but he wanted them to be. And these weren't the laws being kept in Israel and Judah, so he wept and humbled himself before the LORD. Josiah sent the priest and other men to inquire of the LORD through a prophet for him and for his people. They went to local prophetess Huldah, and brought the LORD's answer back to the king. It was too late to turn the LORD's anger away from Jerusalem, but the disaster wouldn't come during Josiah's lifetime. So Josiah took action, calling everyone to his public reading of the Book of the Covenant. Time was short. In the face of judgement, Josiah renewed the covenant with the LORD. His people pledged to follow the LORD, keep His comands with all their hearts and souls, and obey the words of the covenant of the book.

    The End of Judah
    June 15 reading
    2 Chronicles 35-36
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    * Josiah vs Hezekiah's Passover celebrations
    * Jeremiah's lament for Josiah and Jer 22
    * Meggido * Timeline: Josiah to fall
    * Compare with 2 Kings 23-25
    "The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem. (35:17-18)
    King Josiah's celebration of the Passover the year the Book of the Law was found when he was 26 was the best since the days of the prophet Samuel. He told the priests to stop doing things their way - like carrying the ark around on their shoulders - and follow the explicit directions given by the LORD in the book. The musicians were descendants of Asaph from King David's time. Less busy priests made preparations for priests on-duty, such as the Aaronic priests and Levite gatekeepers. Josiah's goal of setting the temple in order was complete.

    About 13 years later, the geopolitics of the Middle East began changing again. Neco king of Egypt moved north through Judah toward a showdown on the Euphrates River. When Josiah moved his army out to fight, Neco's messengers said Egypt was not fighting Judah and added "God has told me to hurry, so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you." Did Josiah assume God would neither speak to nor work through a gentile king? He disguised himself and led his troups to battle Egypt on the plain of Megiddo where archers mortally wounded him. His men returned him to Jerusalem, where he died. After Josiah's death, the prophet Jeremiah, a son of a priest, wrote popular laments for the king. (Jeremiah had been a prophet to Judah during Josiah's last 26 years. Habakkuk, Isaiah, and Ezekiel also prophecied during this time.)

    Josiah was the last God-fearing king before the fall of Judah. Judah was in the middle between the competing forces of Egypt, Babylon, and later Persia. Josiah's 23 year old son, Jehoahaz reigned 3 months before Neco forceably took him to Egypt and made his older brother, Eliakim (renamed Jehoiakim) king. Jehoiakim was king of Judah from age 25-36, when Nebuchadnezzar forceably had him taken back to Babylon. The 18 year old Jehoiachin temporarily became king until Nebuchadnezzar had him exiled to Babylon and appointed his 21 year old uncle, Zedekiah, king of Judah. In their troubles, all these kings refused to seek the LORD, inquire of Him through the prophets, or ask for His help. Many of the leaders of the priests and the people had also hardened their hearts against the LORD. Perhaps they wanted His protection based upon past loyalty and past covenant agreements. Did they see their disaster as His fault, rather than their unfaithfulness? For several years, the LORD continued sending messages to Judah, but the people "mocked God's messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy." (36:16) So survivors of Judah were gradually taken away to Babylon along with all the articles from the temple of the LORD and other national treasures. Judah and Jerusalem were burned and destroyed. The LORD gave the land 70 years of sabbath rest, until He spoke to Cyrus, the new king of Persia, to send the people back to rebuild the Lord's temple in Jerusalem.

    Tomorrow's Reading (June 16): James 1-5

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    or "Today's Bible" Site & Blog

    Site search Web search

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    DVD from Amazon.com - The Bible Collection

    1 CHRONICLES - Notes
    * Commentaries and Study Guide
    2 CHRONICLES - Notes
    * Commentaries and Study Guide

    Free on-line books on
    * Chronicles commentary, Google
    * 1 Chronicles, Google
    * 2 Chronicles
    , Google
    New, used, hard-to-find, out-of-print:
    Purchase books on
    * 1-2 Chronicles
    , from Amazon.com
    * 1-2 Chronicles, from Amazon.co.uk
    English translation from the Hebrew Bible: Chronicles 1 - Divrei Hayomim 1 and Chronicles 2, Chabad.org
    OTHER
    1 & 2 CHRONICLES
    RESOURCES
    :
    Hope.edu | Wikipedia | Catholic Encyclopedia | Aish.com | Judaism Primer | Torah.org | MessiahRevealed.org with more Messianic Prophecies | OT Gateway | Easton Bible Dictionary | Naves Topical Bible | Smiths Bible Dictionary | Jamiseon, Fausett, & Brown: 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles | TorahBytes | Study Aids | Daily Bible Study with quizes for 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles plus Bible History | Jewish Encyclopedia with Historiography * Theocracy, CQPress
    HISTORY,
    GEOGRAPHY,
    MAPS,
    TIMELINES
    | Kingdom history lesson, Path-Light lessons | King David Timeline | Solomon's Reign
    | Zerah the Cushite (Ethiopian): Arkamani | BibleMysteries | BibleBB
    | 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, PBS | Asa, King of Judah | Chronicles, by Klein
    | Interactive map: Fall of Judah
    THE TEMPLE
    IN JERUSALEM
    * Temple Mount Timeline * The Temple * Temple Mount
    * Jerusalem in the First Temple Period (1006-586 BC) * Temple in Jerusalem
    * Solomon's Temple * Phoenician Design of King Solomon's Temple
    1 & 2 CHRONICLES:
    COMMENTARIES
    and
    SERMONS
    1 Chronicles:
    * Asia Pacific IBS * The Bible Explained * Biblical Studies Foundation
    * David Guzik * Matthew Henry * Jamieson, Fausset, Brown * John Wesley
    * National Presbyterian Church * John Piper * Charles Spurgeon * Ray Stedman

    2 Chronicles:
    * Asia Pacific IBS * The Bible Explained * Biblical Studies Foundation
    * David Guzik * Matthew Henry * Jamieson, Fausset, Brown
    * David Legge * National Presbyterian Church * John Piper * Charles Spurgeon
    * Ray Stedman * Text Week * John Wesley

    Today's Bible Index:
    * 1 & 2 Chronicles Study Guide * OT Study Guides
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    * Get weekly email reminders for Today's Bible readings

    Notes from the funerals of President Ronald Reagan, June 5, 2004
    Copyright © Nancy Sween, 2003-

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